Hello everyone! Yesterday, we published the Portuguese version of an interview with Mauro Pawlowski. Mauro, one of the best musicians in the actual European musical scene, was so kind to accept our invitation to answer some questions for our blog.

By NansieDN
Mauro Pawlowski became known for having started his band Evil Superstars (in 1994), after winning the Humo Rock Rally. With two albums and an EP released, the band was over and from that moment on, Mauro started several projects, solo or in a band. So many that we don't even dare to enumerate. Some of the most recent are Mauro - Songs From a Bad Hat (a solo and sweet album), Mauro and The Grooms - Black Europa (quite refreshing), Somnabula - Swamps of Simulation (a rock fantasy - something completely different in music), and the most recent of all: Radical Slave - Damascus. You can watch some videos on youtube. We would like to note the recent (last year) collaboration of Mauro in NieuwZwart, for the contemporary dance company Ultima Vez.

Nowadays, Mauro Pawlowski plays guitar in the belgian group dEUS, and you can hear in our automatic player the single (the album will be released in September).  

Having said this, we can only add: enjoy!

The fotographies were kindly provided by NansieDN
For more information about Mauro's work, visit MauroWorld
Mauro Pawlowski in concert with Radical Slave by NansieDN

Taste of Orange: What's your creative process? Is it always the same or changes from project to project?
Mauro Pawlowski: What I do first is go figure out a good reason to create. Because I’m perfectly happy with all the music already available. I mean there’s enough of it. But I have to do something, since I’m a professional musician. Also I like playing music. A lot. Anyway, I just book gigs and make promises without anything in mind so I’m obliged to come up with stuff. I really have to get myself in trouble. That’s how most ‘projects’ come about. Then I just start. Pick up an instrument and push record. Call the usual suspect and tell them they’re in a new band with me. (‘Hope you like the tunes, we’re playing next saturday.’) 

TO: From Evil Superstars to Radical Slave, your wrote so many lyrics, there are such sweet lyrics and at the same time others so mad, so what's your inspiration to write them? It's from books, or real life, or any other thing?
MP: I do read a lot. I love books more than anything. People who don’t indulge themselves in classic literature don’t know what they’re missing. But when I’m writing English lyrics, I don’t spend a lot of time on them. Usually it’s only a cool sounding title with some extra lines. That said, this is also why I don’t think my rock lyrics are any good. Nowadays of course I feel rather sorry about it, not taking it seriously enough. I’m actually quite embarrassed about the whole thing. Maybe I’m getting old. Wait a minute... I am. But this is about to change because I recently started to write songs with lyrics I spend more than half an hour working on. You’ll hear them next year. Just me and my guitar and, what do you know, real songs. Might be boring to some. I’m sorry.

TO: What types of projects do you have to release soon?
MP: I think I will release everything soon. There’s hours of fine stuff. And even more bad stuff.

TO: What was the idea that led you to write Somnabula – Swamps Of Simulation? 
MP: A fantasy I considered entertaining enough to release in public. Some caped rocker who flew in from reality singing to everybody’s surrogate concioussness. Not unlike a cardboard version of The Matrix or so, I don’t know. Next came Otot: half man half shodow puppet who only exists in erased
text messages. 

TO: How do you get the ideas for your videos? Because they're not conventional at all (in a good way).
MP: Hmm, I only made one video myself: Satan Is In My Ass by Evil Superstars. I wanted to know if it was any fun (it wasn’t) and just bluffed my way through it, by analysing some Bon Jovi video first and then tell everybody what to do as if it was my fifth motion picture for Dreamworks. I never prefered film, too showy. 

TO: What are the differences to you between writing for an album and writing for a project like NieuwZwart? 
MP: For NieuwZwart we had to follow the dancers, such a blast. I think they are totally awesome and very, very inspiring. Then we could do some of my favourite stuff. Irregular riffing, free rock, moody scapes... wonderful. There’s more to come in 2012.
Mauro Pawlowski by NansieDN
TO: Is there any difference between playing live for big audiences like you do with dEUS and playing in smallest concerts for fewer people like it happens in other projects of yours? Do you adjust your behaviour on the stage or is it always the same?
MP: There is a difference. I’m not going to walk on stage waring a cape in front of let’s say 20.000 people awaiting dEUS, and kick all equipment off stage halfway our set. I might get some unnecessary curious looks in that case. But mainly I like to move on stage. People normally pay to see you and - call me old fashioned - I believe you have to offer them some show element. They are watching you, for God’s sake! 

TO: In all of your projects, there is always the same “high-quality line”. How are you able to keep it?
MP: Well, thank you. Some might disagree though, which is fine. Basically I take my job seriously. I do have a work ethic. Still I get lots of people shaking their heads why I tragically waste all my supposed talent. I like it when an audience loves what I’m doing but let’s just not exaggerate.
And I say that in a friendly voice, not as a statement.  

TO: Do you have any favourite guitar in particular? Because when you’re playing with dEUS we see a lot the Fender Telecaster, however we have already seen you play with many others. Do you have any preference? 
MP: My Telecaster Thin Line is my best sounding one. That’s why I use it the most. A guitar needs to look good upon you. It’s like a piece of clothing. Like I said, they are watching you anyway.
I don’t treat my guitars nice. I like kicking them around every now and then. If only they weren’t so expensive...

TO: Your songs are part of some people’s special moments, memories, a part of their life. Are you aware of the impact of your music in people’s life?
MP: Not really. Sorry, I know this sounds bad, but I mean it. I do occasionally get strange, fanatic reactions from folks. So I know there’s impact somehow, sometimes, on whatever level.
Then again I find it important to present myself as a member of the audience who needs to get on stage for a while but ‘be right back to continue civilian life in a minute’.
On the other hand I’m not very social with strangers. For instance: I hate phonecalls. It’s like talking to a ghost, if you permit me to act a bit artistically for a second here.

Mauro Pawlowski by NansieDN
TO: Considering all the music you’ve made, do you have any you like specially? If so, why? 
MP: I like most collaborations because I like the people.
Some stuff I made I like more than others. But that’s just because of the way I made it. I never finished off song like I said before. Now I want to change that. I bet this will make more people really like me more. Whatever, I’m 40. I can handle nonsense more than I ever did. Bring it on.  

TO: Why and when did you decide to be a musician?
MP: I grew up in a very musical family, so it was sort of normal to rock out as a hobby. Then at 8 years I saw my uncle’s band rehearse in my grandpa’s garage. A bunch of Greeks, Italians and Turks jamming some slow, heavy 70’s riffs. In the actual fucking 70’s. Very cool. I saw the light. And their girlfriends.

TO: What advice would you give for someone aspiring to be a musician?
MP: It’s everyman for himself in showbiz.

TO: What are your most important musical influences? 
MP: Guitar heroes (Page, Iommi, Van Halen, Belew, Hendrix, etc.), Modernist composers (Feldman, Scelsi, Xenakis, Cage etc.), godlike drummers (Bonham, Rashied Ali, Billy Cobham, Ginger Baker, Bill Bruford, Andrew Cyrille, John French/Drumbo, Tony Allen etc.), female voices (Joni Mitchell, Julie London, Dinah Washington etc.), non-Western sounds, non-musicians, local people/friends/collegues and Crazy Horses by The Osmonds. 

TO: What do you like the most about Portugal? 
MP: I truly love it when they sing in Portuguese. 

We give our greatest thanks to Mr. Mauro Pawlowski for this interview.